UFC 180 Preview

UFC_180Another fight card has been changed by injury and as disappointing as it is for another new home of the UFC it has created another interesting fight. The UFC will go to Mexico for the first time ever as Mexico City hosts UFC 180. When the show was created there was a clear plan, as with any other new country, to feature big fighters from Mexico or with Mexican heritage. That was the idea when the UFC put Cain Velasquez on the card to defend his heavyweight title against Fabricio Werdum. Velasquez is a very proud Mexican-American whose father moved from Mexico to the USA where Cain was born. Every fight he walks out to the octagon with a Mexican flag and has “Brown Pride” tattooed on his chest in reference to his pride of being a Mexican fighter. He is the biggest star that the UFC could have put in a card based in Mexico City as the entire city was ready to see Velasquez in the main event. Then Velasquez tore his MCL and was forced to withdraw from the fight. So with the champion out Werdum was taken out of his chance at a title but kept the main event. It was a disappointing move in the UFC as Mexican fans were hoping to see one of their own in the main event like so many other countries had seen with their first fights. Despite the disappointment of losing Velasquez and a championship fight was somewhat lessened when the UFC announced the replacement for Velasquez. In the champions place was Mark Hunt, a heavy hitting New Zealander that is sure to give the fans a show alongside Werdum. The new fight is sure to be a great one with two fighters wanting to get to that title shot and willing to go all out to do just that. Werdum is the #1 contender in the heavyweight division and almost saw the title shot he had worked so hard to get. A four fight win streak was what got Werdum to the top spot as he had beat some of the biggest names in the division. He started the win streak off with a win over Roy Nelson who was climbing up the ladder himself. That win put Werdum on the map and setting him up for a run at the title. After adding Mike Russow, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Travis Browne to the list Werdum had taken out some of the best in the division and move to #1. He was about to get that title shot until Velasquez’s injury. That set him up with another fighter making his own run at the title. Hunt is currently ranked #4 in the division and has won five of his last seven fights. That run of fights also includes a draw to Antônio Silva putting his total record at 5-1-1 in his last seven. He will try to make it an even better run only two months after his KO win over Roy Nelson in which he took little damage in a walk-of finish that has been crowned as one of the best knockouts of the year so far. With a short layoff Hunt seems ready to take on the top contender as he accepted a short notice fight against the second best fighter in the division. He will look to make it a quick night as well with his gameplan set in stone from the time he entered the UFC. Hunt is a pure striker with a stone chin and loves to stand and trade with the best strikers in the division. He showed exactly that against Nelson, who owns the best right hand in the division, and will not be intimidated by Werdum’s own striking ability. That is not exactly what Hunt should be worried about though as Werdum has made his way to the top thanks to his ground game. He was widely considered the greatest BJJ practitioner in the heavyweight division before entering the UFC and has shown that sill. He has also shown a good striking game although in this fight he might want to avoid Hunt’s power and stay on the ground. It is going to be a good battle between two very good fighters but despite the short notice Hunt will take this one via KO in the third round surprising everyone involved and giving the Mexican fans something to cheer about.

The main event may have changed and put a damper on the card but one thing was never going to change and that was the end of yet another iteration of The Ultimate Fighter. This time it was TUF: Latin America that featured Latino fighters in the featherweight and bantamweight divisions. Filmed in Spanish the show concentrated on fighters from Mexico and the other Latin American countries. It is a breeding ground for contenders and seems does not seem to have an end in sight as the UFC loves to put on more shows and add more fighters. This is just the latest version of the show to cater to a new demographic following in the path of TUF: China and TUF: Brazil except this time focusing on a different group of Americans. Now two more out of this group will make their mark in the long history of The Ultimate Fighter with hopes to make a larger mark on the UFC. In the Bantamweight division it will be Alejandro Perez against Jose Alberto Quinonez. The crowd will have a tough time deciding who to cheer for in this fight as both hail from Mexico and have shown the ability to finish fights. The more experienced Perez has finished 11 of his 14 fights and finished his semi-final match via KO. Quinonez entered the house with only four fights on his record but his 3-1 record includes 2 TKOs along with his TKO win on the preliminary fights on the show. Both will face off looking make an impact and take a UFC contract home with them in front of a home crowd in Mexico City. In the Featherweight division it will be Leonardo Morales and Yair Rodriguez. This one won’t be as hard for the fans to decide on as Rodriguez will take the home fans while Nicaraguan fighter travels outside of home to take his shot at a UFC contract. The fight will match two strikers against each other as the kickboxing Morales takes on the boxing Rodriguez. The two young fighters are very hungry to get this contract and a stand-up war is sure to break out as they try to earn that contract and enter the UFC. Two new fighters will earn a job in the UFC as another show comes to a close in Mexico City where the fight card could produce plenty of excitement.


Fight Night

Main Event:
Fabrício “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt (PPV)

Main Card:
Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger vs. Kelvin Gastelum (PPV)

Dennis “The Menace” Bermudez vs. Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas (PPV)

Augusto “Dodger” Montano vs. Chris “Stump” Heatherly (PPV)

Edgar Garcia vs. Hector “El Toro” Urbina (PPV)

Leonardo “Chimmy” Morales vs. Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Alejandro “El Diablito” Perez vs. Jose Alberto “El Teco” Quinones (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Jessica “Evil” Eye vs. Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Humberto Brown vs. Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez (Sportsnet 360/FOX Sports 1)

Enrique “Henry Bure” Briones vs. Guido “Ninja” Cannetti (UFC Fight Pass)

Marco Antonio “El Psycho” Beltran vs. Marlon “Chilto” Vera (UFC Fight Pass)

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